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Narcotics Destruction in the Pharmacy

In light of the shocking increase in prescription drug abuse in Canada over the past several decades, as well as recent Health Canada initiatives which focus on extending the National Anti-Drug Strategy to prescription drugs, proper narcotics handling has become a hot topic in pharmacy.

With Health Canada’s recent announcement that $13 million has been allocated to facilitate approximately 1000 pharmacy inspections over the next four years and an estimated 180 inspections annually from that point on, the implementation of strict procedures around narcotics handling in the pharmacy has become essential.

In our recent article entitled Narcotics Reconciliation in the Pharmacy, we discussed narcotic inventory management, the narcotic reconciliation process, and how the iApotheca Narcotics Reconciliation Module is helping pharmacies to track and record narcotics inventory levels while accounting for any discrepancies.

When dealing with narcotics inventory however, one of the most vital considerations in pharmacy is the proper disposal of drugs that are damaged, expired or otherwise unsuitable for consumption, and while environmental and health & safety concerns dictate the need for safe disposal of all medications, the destruction of narcotics and other controlled and/or targeted substances is an area of particular concern.

Along with implementing an effective disposal process and encouraging patients to return all unused drugs to the pharmacy for disposal, the pharmacist should also practice proper documentation around the reasons and/or sources of waste in order to ensure effective environmental and health & safety practices.

The proper recording of this information can also be highly effective in helping to identify and address concerns around issues such as the reasons behind patient noncompliance, encouraging the pharmacist to open further communication with patients in an effort to understand why medications are not being finished according to instruction.

Proper recording and disposal practices are also vital to ensuring that the pharmacy records all the information necessary to make audits as manageable and stress-free as possible; retaining proper reports significantly reduces any chance of auditors uncovering an issue with pharmacy procedures.

The iApotheca Narcotics Destruction Module

The iApotheca Narcotics Destruction Module was created to allow for the fast and intuitive creation of narcotic destruction requests while enabling clear and accessible documentation around destruction procedures in the pharmacy.

The module allows for the quick and efficient generation of Controlled Drugs and Substances Destruction Request forms, complete with all required information, which are ready to be printed and either faxed or mailed to the Office of Controlled Substances as per Health Canada guidelines.

Forms include all information required by the Office of Controlled Substances, including:

The name, address and all other pertinent information of the pharmacy
The pharmacists’ name, license number and signature as well as those of the co-pharmacist witnessing the destruction
All pharmacy records in relation to the targeted substance, including the quantity, product name and strength per unit, lot number and expiration date
Date of destruction
The system also allows for the entry of other pertinent information in regard to the destruction request, such as the whether the drug is from inventory or whether it is a patient return and the method of destruction, including all information in relation to destruction by a licensed dealer, which must be kept on-site for a period of two years as specified by Health Canada.

The module is also ideal for benzodiazepines and other targeted substances where a formal request is not required in order to destroy the drug but the pharmacy is also required to keep witnessed records of all pertinent information for a period of two years.

Integration with the iApotheca Narcotics Reconciliation Module

The iApotheca Narcotics Destruction Module provides also convenient integration with the iApotheca Narcotics Reconciliation Module and helps pharmacists ensure they are always ready for audit by ensuring that all required records are stored safely and easy to access.

iApotheca allows your pharmacy to enable simple and stress-free compliance with all information requirements issued by Health Canada, allowing you to cultivate a more focused and efficient work environment, which translates to a better patient experience.

For more information on the iApotheca Narcotics Destruction Module, or to set up a free demo of the iApotheca platform, contact us today at 800-209-6052 or submit a request through our contact page- we look forward to hearing from you!